Book Review: Murder At The Falls by Arlene Kay
Army vet Persephone ‘Perri’ Morgan has two Belgian Malinois dogs, former service dogs now turned therapy dogs. Given an assignment at an upscale nursing home, Perri meets Magdalen Melmoth, a sprightly old lady who might just have something of incalculable value in her possession. And then the murders begin…
I wanted to like this because of the therapy dogs and the fascinating subplot of an undiscovered Oscar Wilde novel, but the execution is just terrible. We learn literally nothing about what Perri did in the army, for example. Why she has the two dogs who apparently retired uninjured after only three years of service. When and why she became friends with ultra-rich socialite Babette, nearly two decades her senior.
I know this is the third book in the series, but as an author, you HAVE to give some backstory for readers who might pick this one up first. And if, for example, the author cut out just a few incidences of Perri going for a ride on her purebred Arabian mare Raza, there’d have been plenty of wordcount to do it. Seriously, Perri went for a ‘trot and canter’ on Raza nearly every chapter, and it had nothing whatsoever to do with the plot. Neither did the two dogs other than providing a reason for Perri to be in the nursing home, which was deeply disappointing. Every animal - and there are a lot - is a purebred something or other, including some rare and very valuable breeds, which only accentuated the rich, elitist feel of the characters. Perri’s supposed to be the ‘everywoman’ of the story but even she has two Belgian Malinois, a Maine Coon, an Arabian horse and enough property to keep them all on. With her love interest a wealthy journalist called Wing Pruett (yes, really) and not a single non-white person making an appearance in the story, this might be the most Rich White People story I’ve ever read. And unless you’re rich and white, I don’t think you’re going to find very much to relate to. Even if you do, you’ll definitely get bored of Perri going for a ride every few pages.
Two stars for a plot which had some promise but is severely let down by the execution.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.